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Charles Schumer
  Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Talks to Reporters  CSPAN  November 27, 2018 10:18pm-10:41pm EST

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regarding anything of the campaign. . >> i don't have any observations to make about that or make any judgment today about who they would like to represent them in the senate. that's the way it works in this country senators are from states all of these issues have been fully discussed all over the state of mississippi and we will have an outcome tonight. >> okay obviously our republican friends are not ready yet so we will go first. i am proud to be joined by senator feinstein and harris
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and our topic today is the nomination of mr. farr in the eastern district of north carolina. chief cook and bottle washer for the state that did more to prevent people particularly african americans from voting than any other state the congressional maps run by the republican legislature was so bad that even this conservative supreme court struck them down and with that restrictive id law passed only after the republican state legislature requested race specific data so they could tailor it because this is despicable after knocking out
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to african-american women nominees to this district which is 27 percent african-american that they may - - nominate someone with this track record. every senator, democrat or republican or conservative or liberal should be disturbed that mr. farr has been involved often directly in multiple attempts to disenfranchised communities of color. voting rights are sacred at the root of the mighty oak we call american democracy and if it eats its own roots the tall and mighty tree will eventually fall. generations of americans have given their lives to extend the right to vote and maintain the right to vote we should be a democracy and to lefevre race or creed or color is despicable and the nomination
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of mr. farr is despicable itself. as stacy abrams and gillam to champion said this morning when it comes to the trifecta of voter disenfranchisement restricting voter rights and gerrymandering thomas farr is one of the most experienced lawyers in the country. record of disregard for fundamental civil rights with a lifetime appointment to allow him to codify that discriminatory ideology into law. what era are we living in? to be elevated to the bench so asking our republican colleagues to reject the nomination every single democrat will vote no. this point senator flake seems to be voting no so we just need one more.
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we hope our republican colleagues will rise to the occasion and that a vote for mr. farr is a vote for institutionalizing ideology that certain american citizens have no right to vote. that is not america. senator feinstein? . >>. >> and that ct has nominated to has been vacant 12 years because republicans refused to confirm anyone for the entire obama administration. during his tenure obama nominated two highly qualified african-american women to this seat. that was originally recommended by senator byrd that republicans blocked the nominations to hold open the
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seat for over a decade. now president trump as you know, has nominated tom farr with a long history of opposition to voting rights. to be a leader in suppression of african-american voters in north carolina this began in the eighties and nineties when he was counseled for the jesse helms campaign. with the mayor of charlotte. and to african-american voters. with the north carolina g.o.p. with a ballot security program. this program included sending more than 120,000 postcards to
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african-american voters almost exclusively to say they are required to live in the precinct that they would vote for at least 30-- prior to the election. and subjected to criminal prosecution if they did not specifically the postcard says providing false information that the information on the postcard was false and clearly designed to decrease turnout but the questions for the record i asked this monash mr. farr about the program he said he did not provide counsel and was not aware of the postcards until they were sent but the press reports have indicated mr. farr was involved and engaged in the postcard strategy.
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so former prosecutor working on voting rights issues told reporters that those statements were false and since then mr. farr has remained active in an effort to dilute african-american voting the defendant legislative districts which were redrawn after the 2010 census to reduce the power of african-american voters in 2016 to defend the restrictive voter id law in federal court. mr. farr strongly denies that racial animus for african-americans was the motivation for the gerrymandering and voter id law. however, in both cases the court disagrees in fact, in striking down the voter id law
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before the circuit said those requirements target african-americans with almost surgical precision". so there is good reason the congressional black caucus , the leadership conference on civil and human rights and dozens of other organizations and all 49 democrats are opposed to mr. farr nomination he does not belong on the federal court. >> thank you leader. i have voted on more nominees republican and democrat than any member presently in the united states senate. i have voted for both republicans and democrats i
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have a hard time remembering anybody and 44 years less qualified to be on a federal court than thomas farr. he is one of the most controversial nominees i have encountered in those decades. what he has done systematically in what has to be a complete bias to dismantle the franchise for thousands of minority voters. he appears to have a part of that voter discrimination campaign but that was a flat out lie. but then he misled congress about his role of his scheme and he told us under oath he
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did not know about it before he happened but now we're told his sworn statements are false to the department of justice. how could anybody possibly think they should have a lifetime appointment to the federal court? both the voting laws, and gerrymandering that he was involved in were struck down as unconstitutional. i think somebody who makes a career out of systematically attacking our constitutional right to vote simply does not belong in the federal court especially when they lie about it under oath. i want to make sure that all of us have the right to vote. want to make sure my grandchildren whether white or black have a right to vote. i don't want somebody like thi this, somebody who will lie about it to determine how
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they could take away the right that i cherish and that we all cherish. think you. >> we are on the eve of a very difficult moment in the united states senate where we are moving to confirm someone who is deeply offensive to many folks in america regardless of their political party. we have common values in this country that bound us together as much as people want to accentuate the differences between republicans and democrats we do hold certain ideals. one of those most sacrosanct idea is the ideal of the right to vote. this wasn't always in our country people from both parties and all backgrounds fought together to extend the right to vote to women in this country and extend the right to vote to african-americans those standing on the bridge and those who died together for that right and now we are
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on the eve of confirming someone whose career is disdained with efforts to suppress the right to vote. that is something that should offend the conscious of the people who are in all parties it is offensive to the very ideals which we stand for, the right to vote one person one vote equal justice under the law. as my colleagues i said very clearly, in 1984 the so-called ballot security program for the reelection campaign of senator jesse home targeted and suppressing the votes of the black carolinians and in 1994 participated in the ballot security meeting just days before the helms campaign infamously sent tens of thousands of postcards targeting black north carolinians not only were they not ineligible but risking prosecution if they did we know he misled members of the judiciary committee about that
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incident expressing either concern or remorse for the way he actively participated to undermine the right to vote. in 2016 as mentioned by my colleague mr. farr lost one of his biggest cases defending north carolina notorious discriminating - - discriminating voter id law. this is not about right or left but right or wrong. there are so many good judges that can serve in this position conservative judges with track records of upholding ideals consistent with jurisprudence why this person? why a state in eastern district with a sad history of voter suppression in the past ever african-americans and others come before hand and to question the authenticity and
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integrity of the judge and therefore the judicial system. we can go another way. we must go another way. confirming this judge for the undermining the faith that americans must have in our judicial system for it to operate in public trust to operate in a way that i believe so many have fought and struggled. think you. >> the way i see it this nomination is about as democracy at stake a key component of our democracy is that all people have equal access to the ballot that their voices be heard and understanding their voice is their vote and any apparent impairment or attempt to dis- incentivize the vote is an attack on democracy. that's one point and we know
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those many examples the way thomas farr has attempted to prevent people from having access to the ballot therefore exercising their eve it - - right to vote what else is at stake we designed a beautiful system of democracy flawed as it may be three coequal equal branches of government in a free and independent press and we designed this democracy with the idea to have checks and balances in our system. so what do we have on the issue of voting in america today? we have a supreme court gutted the voting rights act with shelby v holder and almost two dozen states that put in place discriminatory laws that prevented us and people from voting but then what happened in the checks and balances they're supposed to be a
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system through those state legislatures impair individuals rights to vote the cases can be brought to the court to litigate the fairness of those laws where they have gone to court and where they have been found where a court has even said surgical precision of the legislature sought to prevent black voters from access to the polls we have checks and balances of democracy and the problem with the thomas farr nomination is this, attempting to put somebody who has demonstrated his ability and willingness to use the power of his position to interfere with people's right to vote, they want to put him in the position to be in the role of what should be a check on the issue of power
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so what am i talking about? currently before the eastern district of voting rights case if he is confirmed he potentially would be ruling on such a case he who has a demonstrated track record of participating in the very laws discriminating against that population of african-american so this is an issue are we going to have democracy giving all people access to the polls? but those that have checks and balances in the other branch can check thomas farr is not that person based on his record to put a check on any legislature or attempt to discriminate against any population and then there is another point, this particular seat was held open 12 years. there were two people
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appointe appointed, two different people appointed to that seat. one is a career prosecutor who was the chief of the appeals division of the us attorney's office which is a division of the united states department of justice and separately another nominee that serving on a justice of the supreme court of north carolina did not bring her forward but now they want to bring this person forward? there should be some recognition of the history of not only voting rights in our country or the history of the system of democracy for the needs of checks and balances but also that history of this particular seat in terms of those who have been nominated before and did not get a fair process than putting this fellow on who has a history in the state of suppressing the vote. we can do better than this our
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colleagues can do better than this. there are many talented people in the state of north carolina who are well situated and suited to be nominated to this position. let's do better. >> president determined mom - - determines. >> number one we are for strong voter security the bill we originally put to gather in 2013 had $40 million and we are for strong border security and we have made numerous proposals. number 21.$6 billion of border security negotiated by democrats and republicans is our position we believe that is the right way to go. third, if there is any shutdown it is on president trumps back.
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first, left her own devices the senate and the house coming to an agreement, second the republicans are in control of the presidency in the house and the senate but the shutdown is on their back sticking to the one.6 billion. >> is that legal clinic. >> they have not even spent the one.3 billion so any of that one.3 billion requested from last year's budget. >> we are not negotiating in the press this is our position. >> but the farm bill is hung up over the wildfires in california. . >> we are making good progress senator stevan now is working very hard the only thing left are the forestry provisions we
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are making progress we hope we get a farm bill this year. >> as one of the contraries of the farm bill to carry the best tradition of the senate working closely with the effort and if left to the senate of passage. >> thank you everybody
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